Why we're here:
This blog is to highlight the unjust persecution of legitimate non-TV users at the hands of TV Licensing. These people do not require a licence and are entitled to live without the unnecessary stress and inconvenience caused by TV Licensing's correspondence and employees.

If you use equipment to receive live broadcast television programmes then the law requires you to have a licence and we encourage you to buy one.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Cohen: All BBC Channels Facing Cuts

The BBC's Director of Television has warned that all of its channels face cuts as a result of the Government's new funding deal.

Danny Cohen told Broadcast Magazine that, despite earlier rumours about their future, BBC Two and BBC Four were safe for now, but cuts across the board would be inevitable.

The Government recently brokered a deal with the BBC, whereby the national broadcaster will be forced to shoulder the £650m annual cost of providing "free" TV licences to the over-75s. In an effort to appease the BBC, the Government also took the unexpected decision to life a freeze on the TV licence fee. The £145.50 cost of a TV licence will now rise in line with the CPI rate of inflation from 2017.

"I wouldn't say BBC Two is under threat. All of the channels are going to have to think hard about how they save money, but BBC2 is a very important service which will continue," Cohen said.

Asked if any BBC services would be immune from cost-cutting, he added: "All of the channels will have to have some cuts, there’s no doubt about that... If you’ve got to save £150m by 2017/18, some of that has got to come out of television."

The Government is still considering proposals for the decriminalisation of TV licence evasion, although the Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale MP, recently indicated that the TV licence fee would continue for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Culture Secretary Denies Plans to Dismantle the BBC

The Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale MP, has denied speculation that the Government plans to dismantle the BBC.

Speaking earlier this afternoon at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Mr Whittingdale said: "This idea that there is an ideological drive to destroy the BBC is just extraordinary, the people rushing to defend the BBC are tilting at windmills, they are trying to have an argument that has never been started, certainly not by me."

Pandering to the audience, the Tory turncoat retracted his previously critical comments about the suitability of Strictly Come Dancing as a BBC programme. Having clearly revised his opinion of the show, Mr Whittingdale said it was "absolutely appropriate for the BBC to do".

Asked about the BBC's news coverage, the Culture Secretary denied that he perceived any political bias, however, he did acknowledge that the BBC Trust was not best placed for investigating complaints about impartiality.

"I'm not convinced that people feel that it is right that the BBC Trust decides if the BBC has got it right or wrong," he said.

“We haven’t decided yet whether to give it to Ofcom, but Ofcom do carry out that function for other broadcasters and certainly there is an argument."

Responding to questions about the future funding of the BBC, the Culture Secretary acknowledged that "the licence fee, or something like it, is the best option" for the time being.

The BBC must be breathing a massive sigh of relief that its surveys, frenetic Parliamentary lobbying and celebrity letters of endorsements haven't gone to waste.

Oozing with smugness the BBC Director of Television, Danny Cohen, gloated afterwards: "There was a lot he said today that was encouraging – he said that BBC programming is second to none and is good value for money."

Reader Letter: Bullying Capita TV Licensing Court Presenter

In today's post we respond to an email from one of our readers.

Our reader writes:

Dear TV Licensing Blog,

I went to Northampton Magistrates' Court on 28th July 2015. When I got there a guy asked "anyone here for TV licence?" An old and disabled lady said "yes, but I'm not sure if I'm guilty". The man barked at her "you are". He asked me how I would be pleading, and when I said "not guilty" he replied "you are". He went along the line doing the same with everyone else, telling them that they were guilty and suggesting the court would be harsh on anyone daring to plead not guilty.

It wasn't until I entered the courtroom that I discovered he was the prosecutor. How wrong is that? Even the court appeared reluctant to accept my not guilty plea. How can this be justice?


TV Licensing Blog replies:

Dear Michael,

Thank you for getting in touch.

You are correct that the conduct of the Capita Court Presenter is totally wrong, but sadly not that uncommon. We suspect that Capita Court Presenters across the land have a very loose interpretation of court procedure.

Peter Jones

Michael has since complained to TV Licensing and has received a standard insincere response.

If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.

Edit (27/8/15): We have corrected the date in Michael's email above.